The skills of the future? Increasingly transversal and attentive to relationships

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In a world of work where organizations are increasingly agile and attentive to environmental sustainability, the skills needed by companies, dealing with the so-called twin transitions, digital and environmental, are also evolving.

The new research by Look4ward, the permanent observatory on the skills of the future that Intesa Sanpaolo creates in collaboration with the Luiss Guido Carli University and in partnership with Siref Fiduciaria, Accenture and Digit’Ed, to identify the needs for new skills and regeneration of professional figures in distinctive fields for the country, highlighted the approach of managers in many strategic sectors.

I study

The study “Rethinking Competencies in Twin Transitions”, conducted by Professor Paolo Boccardelli, director of the “Franco Fontana” Research Center in Strategic Change at the Luiss Guido Carli University, analyzed the strategic approach of managers of SMEs and large companies in eight sectors: hospitality, agrifood, energy, socio-health, banking, IT, silver economy, blue economy. The objective is to provide a guide to understanding the challenges and opportunities of the twin transition and its impacts on professional profiles to support company decisions, in the identification of training paths and in generational transition strategies. As Boccardelli explains, «a panel of 678 leaders including HR managers, presidents and CEOs of globally relevant companies were involved, confirming that Italian companies share the awareness of the transformative effects that digital and green mega-trends will have on sectors”. This is an attention that «is greatest among SMEs – continues Boccardelli -: over two thirds of medium enterprises (68%) and therefore almost three (59%) of small enterprises agree that their sector will be completely transformed by twin transitions. The analyzes also reveal that twin transitions will bring out in organizations the need to find new balances in the paradox, to react to contrasting forces. Overcoming paradoxes will require us to equip ourselves with profiles capable of welcoming change as the new normality.” The DNA of the Leaders will also be changed, who “will have to establish themselves as catalysts of the best talents that organizations will increasingly need”.

New skills and new leadership

In increasingly streamlined and evolving organisations, rigid hierarchies no longer appear suitable and new skills must be able to express themselves in contexts characterized by flexible and collaborative models, where learning is continuous and where relational skills and autonomy are valorised, also through training. The exercise of a new leadership is also fundamental, where managers must be increasingly facilitators, paying attention to the care of relationships, through leadership based on the “power of We” rather than on the centrality of the individual.

The attractiveness of businesses

The valorization of transversal skills and new leadership models will facilitate access to new markets that the green and digital transition will open for companies capable of innovating and adapting. Making them much more attractive in the eyes of customers, investors and young people. Elisa Zscopio Marsala, head of education ecosystem and global value programs Intesa Sanpaolo, observes that «we are faced with global challenges driven by transformative trends in society. Look4ward has the primary objective of identifying the needs for new skills and the regeneration of traditional skills in strategic sectors, necessary to adapt to ongoing corporate transformations and new businesses. The objective is to create innovation and sustainability training actions and intervention models that simultaneously generate value for businesses and create new opportunities for the country.” In Italy, we cannot overlook the fact that there is a demand for work from companies that is not satisfied: «That is, companies cannot find suitable personnel. At the same time, however, the supply of workers is not adequate to the requests of companies. Compared to the past – claims Gregorio De Felice, chief economist and head of research at Intesa Sanpaolo – we have a new phenomenon. Despite low economic growth, in recent years we have seen an acceleration in the number of employed people, particularly in construction (+17.3%), which can certainly be influenced by the super bonus, but which looking at the total shows a +2, 3% growth. A good rate, if we look at the past correlation between economic growth and employment data.”

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